Bash - 12 String Acoustic Test

This is a recording I made for the purpose of testing out the sound of a 12 string Vangoa acoustic guitar with built in pickup.

I’ll be making an instrumental version with some electric guitar lead melodies (maybe some harmonies too) and also a version with vocals. I’m posting this to find out how people feel about it and what they think works and what doesn’t work. Any thoughts and comments would be appreciated. Thanks

Here’s some pics of the guitar.

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It sounds pretty good to me. The intro playing is very pretty. When the lead parts come in they seem a little loud or could be compressed to be more even. If you’re going for “bold strokes” I can understand it, I’m just saying the lead parts seem a bit edgy and jarring in transients. Of course, I don’t know how many parts you have here or how it’s produced, but having the lead parts more centered might help to not clash with or mask the background rhythm. Just my thoughts. I understand it’s a test, so just commenting on what I’m hearing.

I used to own a cheap 12-string acoustic too, many years ago. They have a very sweet sound to them, and I like how you have composed this with the melodies and playing.

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Great sound @Wicked I was expecting ‘jingle jangle’ 12 string but this is more electric. You have a nice riff and a good blend of parts and the bass and drums fit well. There’s a little too much repetition here for my tastes but when you add other parts I might not think that. Vangoa, I’ll have to look at that.

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Yeah, I find the transients are a bit too jarring on that melody and harmony part. I intentionally plucked the strings like that because it felt right at the time (I’m also a heavy handed picker often because I like a heavy attack but I think that melody part was a a bit over the top). I might try cutting of the transients by compressing or maybe using a transient shaper/ designer (not sure if Reaper has one of those though). If I can’t fix it in the mix, I’ll just re-record that part.

I’m not sure what you mean by “having the lead parts more centered”. Do you mean having them panned right up the center, not to either side? I’m unsure if that’s how I have them in this mix. I’d have to check.

Thanks for the comments Stan @Stan_Halen !

Yeah, this music is mostly the backbone of what I plan to make into a complete song. I’m sure it will be easy to come up with some melodic solos and good vocal melodies with the music that’s laid down so far.

I got it off
It paid roughly $200 to $220 Canadian dollars.

I should also mention that I didn’t mic the guitar, but instead used the built-in pickup and used the equalizer that’s on the guitar. I like the convenience of plugging the guitar into the interface as opposed to performing with the sound hole of the guitar aimed at a mic. Less set-up time and less room for error doing it that way.

Thanks for your comments, @ingolee !

@Wicked I think this sounds fine. In your other thread I was going to suggest sending me a DI track that I could feed into my fractal ax fx, but what you have here is more organic. The sound I get is half clean guitar, half 12 string and half like a string type sound. It probably wouldn’t work for what you’re doing but it is very orchestral sounding…but not as real as what you played here. I think this is fine, man.

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Hey Danny, are you referring to a song that I posted in Bash This Recording? If so, I think I know which song you might be referring to.

It’s always good to get your opinion. Thanks for commenting, Danny @Danny_Danzi !

It just sounded like multiple parts for the rhythm and multiple parts for the lead (or doubling?), and the rhythm was panned wide but the lead was panned out also. I guess what I was trying to say was keep the lead tracks close to center with rhythm panned wide so there was more space or separation

I immediately sensed it was the pickup and not mic’d, and I was a little disappointed, but quickly thought the pickup sound was pretty good. It’s just a bit ‘plucky’ sounding, and I usually prefer a mic’d sound. I get what you’re saying about convenience though.

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Ah yes, I see where you’re coming from. Yes, both the arpeggio part and the lead track harmonies and melodies are doubled. I don’t remember how I have the lead tracks panned but I think you might be correct about them being panned wide. I’ll give the file a listen to see/ hear…, and I’ll open my project in Reaper to see. I know the arpeggios are panned wide because I typically do that, but I don’t always do that with the main instrument that carries the melody. Having said that, I would bet that you’re correct. Thanks, Stan.

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Nice playing, great sound out of a pretty inexpensive 12 string. You can tell it is a pickup in the recording, it just has that electric eq and attack going on. Nothing wrong with that at all. If you ever wanted to you could mix in a mic’ed track to get a little more of the body of the guitar, but it isn’t necessary.
I think it would work well with vocals. It is really tough to get people to listen to more than ten seconds of instrumental music, so you’ll need some great electric parts to pull it off, but getting it the way you want it is the priority.
As an aside, I’m getting the feel of a couple of Bad Company songs in there. The opening arpeggios remind me of Ready for Love, and later I hear a little of the fade out for Runnin’ With The Pack. This is not to say it is derivative, it’s good company to be compared with. Keep us posted as you keep working on it.

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Hey Bob @StylesBitchley , I was thinking to do just that. When I bought the guitar my biggest curiosity was to hear how the pickup sounded in a recording. I kind of pushed the high end on the guitar’s onboard EQ (more treble & less low mids and lows) and I was thinking I might have pushed it too much, but so far no one has mentioned it. Mic’ ing the guitar would likely add more warmth but I’ve yet to do that.

Yes, I agree, instrumentals are usually much more difficult to relate to and people are less likely to engage with a song without vocals, especially if it’s an incomplete recording. This song will be really easy to create a catchy vocal and some attractive solos/ lead guitar parts. I was planning on using overdriven electric guitar for the solos but I might also add an acoustic solo or other melodic parts with an acoustic (12 string and/ or 6 string).

The Bad Company song that I’m most familiar with is Rock’nRoll Fantasy but I’m pretty sure I’ve heard quite a bit of their music, though I can’t name their songs. I tend to mix up Free and Bad Company. Wasn’t Paul Rodgers the singer of both bands? …….(goes to Google to search….ah, yes, there’s the answer). Google also reminded me that he sang for The Firm. I remember my brother having their first or second album (The Firm). Now I want to go and listen to that stuff again to see how that music has aged. I’ll check out the songs you mentioned too. Thanks for your comments, Bob.

Just saw this thread (and didn’t have a chance to read through the other comments). What model is the guitar? If that’s acoustic, have you tried using a mic instead of running a DI?

Hey Jonathon @Jonathan , it’s a Vangoa VA20CE BKM12.

I haven’t tried micing it yet, but I’ll definitely be doing that in the future because I want to hear what kind of sound I can get out of the guitar with that method of recording. I’ve done many recordings with mic’ing my cheap 6 string acoustic guitar but none with this 12 string.

I’ll try to post a pic of the guitar sometime soon.

I’ve added a few pics of the guitar in my opening post for those of you that are interested in viewing it.